Canada History

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Prehistory | 2 Worlds Meet | New France | England Arrives | Clash of Empires | Revolution | British America | Reform/Revolt | Responsible Government | Confederation | Nation Building | Laurier | The Great War | Roaring 20's | Great Depression | WWII | The Peace | Cold War | Trudeau | PC's in Power | Modern Canada

A New Nation | Nova Scotia Balks  | The Northwest Territories | Manitoba & Riel | Federal Provincial Relations | British Columbia | Prince Edward Island | The Washington Treaty | Scandal | Liberal Interlude | The National Policy | The Railroad | Rebellion | Immigration | Transitions

Canada was founded by an act of the British Parliament known as the British North American Act or the BNA Act. This was the written contract or rules and regulations which the four founding Provinces (Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia) had agreed to in conjunction with the British government. In a wider sense the new Canadian government and it's citizens also accepted the tradition and rights of the people from the British system as it had been developed over the centuries in the form of other documents such as Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as well as various entrenched and sometimes intangible rights and responsibilities of the people and the government.

The new  government under Macdonald did not wait long to continue with its great project of nation building and may have felt pressure to so when in 1867 the American Secretary of State Cameron Seward concluded a deal with the Russians to purchase Alaska from them for a penny an acre or just over $7,000,000 dollars. This arrangement now placed the U.S. on two sides of Canada and the other British Colonies and threatened to surround British North America. Macdonald, Cartier the leader of the government in Quebec, and the Conservative government entered into with Prince Edward Island, the colony of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, Newfoundland and the British Government over bringing these other colonies and the great Northwest of the Hudson Bay Company into Canada as additional provinces and territories.

The first session of the New Parliament of Canada began on December 4th, 1867 William McDougall introduced a resolution which was ultimately intended for Queen Victoria and was a proposal that the Hudson Bay Company should turn over the vast lands of the Northwest, know as Prince Rupert's Land to the Dominion. This led to the dispatch of McDougall and Cartier in October 1868 to London to negotiate with the Imperial Government and the HBC for the transfer of the lands.

Within a few years, all except Newfoundland had entered Confederation and Canada had exploded in size becoming the second largest country in the world and with a desperate need to somehow tie all of these regions together as one State.